As soon as all the 33 Chilean miners were safe on the ground, TV networks are quick to announce projects made on the heels of the inspiring event. Trapped 2000 feet underground in Copiapo, Chile since August, the miners were pulled out one by one through narrow shaft 69 days later.
The tremendous effort by the rescuers as well as the courage that the miners held for days have been captured above the ground by Discovery Channel's cameras. "Rescued: The Chilean Mine Story" will air on October 28 as a special. Produced by Discovery Channel Latin America, it will be simulcast on Discovery Channel and Discovery en Espanol in the United States and Discovery Channel across Latin America. Broadcast in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will follow the next month.
It will see the reunions between the miners and their families in addition to an interview with the head of the rescue operation, Andre Sougarett. There will be exclusive footage of three drilling machines, the engineers in charge of each and the control room.
Meanwhile, Spike TV waited until all the miners were rescued safely before it announced a new reality series called "Coal". Coming from the producers of "Deadliest Catch", it is a docuseries chronicling the dangerous profession of coal mining set in West Virginia. Despite the hype from the Chile incident, the project had been developed a year ago.
"It didn't take a tragedy, and then a miracle, to get us excited about this," said Sharon Levy, executive VP original programming at Spike. "Obviously, we're humongous fans of the kind of shows Thom [Beers] does that celebrate the everyday man. He said, 'We're working on this project called 'Coal',' and we said we'd take it."
The ten episodes will premiere as one-hour series starting April 2011. It focuses on Mike Crowder and Tom Roberts, co-owners of Cobalt Mine in Westchester, W.Va., and the area's miners, families and community members.